The eight pointed star is major theme in all forms of Moroccan Art, from rugs, to textiles, to tiles. Henna tattoos are no different. So the first motif I worked with is the eight pointed star. I decided to do the practice stitches using perle cotton #5 in two shades of reddish brown (like the henna color) on ecru 18 ct mono canvas. Outlining the star was easy – all stitches go over 8 threads using the darker color.
Then I filled in some of the spaces with the lighter color. I know that doing straight stitches for the outside triangles won’t cover well, but this is practice and I want to find out what works and what doesn’t work. I like the star outlined in the darker color, but the lighter color doesn’t seem to offer enough contrast. The next version I’ll use a lighter shade.
I don’t like the center. I did a square on point – over 4 threads with the dark color. It’s filled in with the lighter shade done in basketweave. Originally, I wanted to do another decorative stitch on top of the center, but that won’t work with this version. So it’s time for some more playing.
The straight stitches don’t look good with perle #5 straight stitches. I tried doing them with slanted stitches, using two small triangles for each of the larger triangles. This looks much better, but now there’s no room for the dark stitch outline. Then I tried a second version of this with the dark thread outline and then filling in with the lighter color (on the bottom of this photo). This looks better, but may not be the final version.
Then I needed to play with the center to find a better solution. I tried a Rhodes stitch in the lighter color. This looks better but I think it add too much texture, height, to the motif. I think this stitch would dominate the star and it’s the star that should be the focus point.
Next I tried a large Smyrna Cross. I think this looks better, but I’m not sure how it will look inside the whole motif. Time to go play some more.